Yesterdays race in Wimbleball (about 2 hrs away from Bath) was just one of those races where everything hurts from the gun. The 6am start on a chilly morning certainly didn't help matters, but regardless it was a long day in the office as they say.
The swim went pretty much to plan, except that I missed the front mens pack, which was disappointing as I thought I would be able to stay with them.
However I exited the swim with a couple of minutes lead over Bella Comerford, so all was OK. On the long run up the hill into transition I pretty much knew things weren't fantastic as I was seriously breathing out of my ass, and I mean seriously! I then fumbled around in transition, and hobbled out onto the road and made a real balls up of jumping on my bike. I blame it on the lack of feeling in my feet due to the cold - but that's still no excuse.
The next 2 hrs 52 mins was then a real struggle. I just really felt like I was having to work way harder than I should be, but kept telling myself once I warmed up things would get better. It was Ffffffffffffffffreezing out there. By the time the hail storm hit us on the second lap I did actually have to question what the heck we were all doing out there. 8 am on a Sunday morning, on our bikes in a skimpy little trisuits, freezing cold in the hail! Surely there is something better to do :)
Anyway I came back in to T2 having only extended on my lead on Bella marginally. I knew Bella is a fantastic runner, so at the time wasn't sure if my lead would be enough, but after my great run in Switzerland I still believed I could win. I knew that quite often in triathlon you have races where you may feel shitty on 2 disciplines, but then feel awesome on the third ....so I was hoping that today would be one of those days. And for the first mile things were OK. But I still had 12.1 (and yes that .1 is important believe you me) to go. Ouch! I even remember asking one of the age-group athletes that passed me "Hey it is 2 laps isn't it?" Wishful thinking, he replies "no way its 3, why?". " cos I am hurting.....badly...that's why!".
Not long after I then had to stop momentarily to stretch out my first of my muscle cramps. I knew something was just not right when I actually got a cramp in my forearm as I went to grab a drink at the aid station. A couple of minutes later Bella zipped by me. I did shout "go Bella"....but I doubt she heard me as she was running so fast. She had a fantastic race and really deserved to win. Her 1:25 run split would have been hard to hold off even on a good day.
Despite by body seriously telling me to stop, I pushed through was extremely happy to see the 2 familiar faces of Mike and Lucky pups at the finish line.
Congrats to both Bella and Fraser for winning. You both had fantastic races, and also to everyone out there that got round. It really is one heck of a race, and I hope to see some of you back there next year.....maybe.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images